Severe respiratory failure in COVID-19: clinical, biological and imaging risk factors

Photo: Rawpixels
01/03/2020 - 01/02/2021
Judith Garcia Aymerich
Funded by
Barcelona Respiratory Network Foundation, ISGlobal and participating hospitals, and AstraZeneca

Although the majority (80%) of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 present mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) characterized by unspecific symptoms, around 15% develop severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization, and approximately 5% (critical COVID-19) of all the infected develop severe acute respiratory failure (with or without acute respiratory distress), septic shock, and / or multiorgan failure requiring care in an intensive care unit (UCI). The evolution of the patient from a serious condition to a critical stage often occurs quickly and insidiously, so the clinicians have little time to react.

To date, it is unknown which factors, apart from aging and the presence of chronic diseases, can predict the evolution of COVID-19 from severe to critical disease. The objectives of the CORSAIR study are:

  • To estimate the association between risk factors (clinical, biological and imaging) and the development of severe respiratory failure or death in 8,000 patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection in nine Spanish public hospitals.
  • To identify low-cost, non-invasive imaging markers (chest radiography and ultrasound), using radiology and artificial intelligence, to assess the risk of developing severe respiratory failure or dying in patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In the long term, the aim of CORSAIR is to evaluate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on respiratory symptoms, lung function and structure, and biomarkers in a cohort of 500 survivors six months after discharge from hospitals.

Total funding

28,000 € in kind contrbution from ISGLobal and participating hospitals and data contribution from the Catalan Government.

Our Team


  • Judith Garcia
    Judith Garcia Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases and Environment Programme

ISGlobal team

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